There are several steps for how to build business credit in 30 days, which include creating a business profile, reviewing credit reports, and beginning to build good payment habits. Building good business credit means you’re more likely to get approved for a business loan and qualify for lower rates.
Opening a business credit card is one of the quickest ways to start building business credit. You can qualify for a card like the Chase Ink Business CashSM using your personal credit score. Owners with good to excellent credit can qualify and begin to build their business credit.
How Long it Takes to Build Good Credit
Building a solid business credit history will take longer than 30 days. Owners can do things within the first month to begin building credit, like requesting a D-U-N-S Number and opening a business checking account. However, the process will take four to six months if you follow the steps to establishing business credit. Building business credit involves several steps with different agencies including the IRS, and it usually takes longer than 30 days to do.
Personal credit scores can also impact your business and the ability to get business credit as well. Owners with poor personal credit should also work on raising their personal credit score. Opening a business credit card is one of the quickest ways to start building business credit and raise your business credit scores. Businesses can get started building credit anytime, however, the process will take four to six months long to establish a solid credit history.
Take these three steps to build your business credit fast:
1. Establish A Business Profile
Establishing a new business profile includes incorporating your business, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), opening a business bank account, and setting up your credit profile with the business reporting agencies. Using the mail to build business credit could takes longer and typically adds as much as three days to seven days of processing time. Other processing times vary by state, but most of the steps can be expedited by doing them online. Avoid dealing with Postal Service and cut the processing time down to same day.
Incorporate Your Business
Incorporating your business helps establish your operations and strengthen your company brand. It also limits your liability so that you aren’t held personally responsible for business debt. Incorporating your business usually takes a week to 10 days, depending on the state and method of application. Filing fees can range from $100 to $1,000.
The processing times for incorporation based on the method of application typically are:
- Online: one to three days
- By mail: seven to 10 days
- In person: one to 10 days
Owners will need to file articles of organization with their respective states. In some states, filing as a limited liability company (LLC) can be completed in as little as two to three days, while other states might not complete your incorporation for two to three weeks.
Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Businesses looking to build business credit fast will need to have an EIN number, which can be completed online quickly. Use your EIN to open bank accounts, and apply for credit using your business information instead of personal information. Owners can apply for an EIN online, which takes about 10 minutes. You’ll receive your new EIN and be able to save it immediately.
Open a Business Bank Account
Business bank accounts are great for separating business expenses from personal ones. The best business checking accounts allow you to open an account online, using your EIN, the same day. Once you fund the account you’ll have access to view your account online, make deposits and link the account to business vendors for payments.
It’s not uncommon for lenders to request bank statements to verify revenue. Businesses that apply for lending will be able to show business statements and are more likely to get approved. Most business accounts can be opened online in no longer than 15 minutes.
Get a Business Profile with the Credit Bureaus
The three major business credit reporting agencies are: Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), Experian, and Equifax. Here’s how to establish a credit profile with each of the major business credit bureaus.
Dun & Bradstreet
Businesses looking to build business credit fast should get a D&B profile to ensure creditors can view their credit history. Like Experian and Equifax, D&B uses payments, vendors, and public information to compile credit reports, but you’ll need a profile first. Companies can set up a D&B credit profile by requesting a data universal numbering system (D-U-N-S) number. Similar to a Social Security Number, these digits act as a unique company identifier within the D&B system.
The D-U-N-S request times for businesses are:
- Standard application: 30 days
- Expedited application: five business days or less
- Government application: One business day
Owners can request a D-U-N-S number for free on the provider’s website, however, it could take up to 30 days to process. Owners looking to build business credit fast can expedite their request and receive in five business days or less for $229. Companies doing business with the federal government can obtain a free DUNS in one business day.
Experian and Equifax
Like D&B, Experian and Equifax both collect public information on your business and use it to compile business credit reports scores. There’s no need to set up a profile, but you will need to verify that your business is in the system. Equifax allows owners to add business information to its own credit reports. It’s good to check all three reports regularly to ensure that information is consistent and accurate. Owners can check their status online and it only takes a few minutes.
2. Review Your Credit Profile
The first step to building business credit is knowing where you stand. Each credit agency allows you to search its database online. If there are no results, you’ll need to establish a new credit profile. You can open profiles with each of the three major business credit bureaus: Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, and Equifax. If your business has already established a credit profile, you can review the credit information for accuracy.
Startups that have no Employer Identification Number (EIN) typically won’t have much business credit to speak of, but it’s still good to double-check. Business credit is comprised of public and third-party information, so there may already be a business profile established. You can check your business credit online the same day. You can also view your business credit reports and free credit scores through NAV.
Ensure Your Business Information is Consistent
Owners can miss out on much-needed credit history if there are inconsistencies in your business information. In order to build business credit fast, you’ll need tradelines that report your payment history to the business credit agencies. Vendors often shy away from businesses that use an email address that doesn’t include a business domain. Once they’ve processed your orders, vendors may not report your payments because of these discrepancies.
If your business details don’t match your website or publicly available address, vendors may not properly report your account activity. To avoid this, owners should ensure their business number and correct address is clearly listed on their website and that their email address has their business domain listed. You can set up a branded email address and website online the same day.
Report Any Errors on Your Credit Report
If you discover an error on your report, you can contact the credit bureaus online but you’ll need to send any supporting documentation via email or mail. Notifying the bureaus of the errors can take just a few minutes; however, the investigation itself typically takes up to 30 days.
The estimated business credit agency dispute times are:
- Dun & Bradstreet: 30 days or more
- Experian: up to 30 days or more
- Equifax: 45 to 60 days
Although the dispute investigation takes four weeks or more, ensuring that supporting documentation has clear, detailed, and accurate business information can help speed up the process. Incorrect information can lead to reporting discrepancies that can affect your business score and cost you future financing. Once the inaccurate information is removed, your business credit score can improve. Businesses can check their business credit reports regularly.
3. Build Payment History
Business owners that want to build business credit fast need to develop a payment history. Lenders consider your credit history as one of the main factors when determining creditworthiness. Making timely payments will demonstrate to vendors and anyone looking to do business with your company that you’re low risk. Owners can open most credit accounts online in just a few minutes. However, the amount of time it takes to see the impact on your credit report will take longer.
Establish Vendor Credit Lines
Vendors work with businesses to supply what they need while extending a short-term credit line A net 30 account is a popular type of tradeline where vendors will business defer payment for 30 days. When owners pay these invoices within that time, the vendor will typically report that payment to a credit bureau. Owners can build business credit fast by setting up multiple vendor accounts and making timely payments.
Vendors might include:
- Office supply companies
- Accountants and bookkeepers
- Construction companies
- Service agencies
Some creditors require a solid payment history, so owners should add tradeline accounts early to start the building process. Ensure that each vendor you work with reports activity to the credit bureaus, and if they don’t you can request that they do. Businesses that pay their invoices on time or early will improve their credit score over time. It typically takes 30 to 60 days for most vendors to report new account activity to credit agencies.
Open a Business Credit Card
One of the quickest ways to get business credit is to open a business credit card. Although most business credit cards require a personal guarantee, not all business cards report to the major credit bureaus. Owners can use their business EIN and information and avoid having activity showing up on their personal credit profile. Business credit cards that report to D&B, Experian, and Equifax are best. Applications can be completed online, and you can get a decision instantly.
Owners struggling with little to no credit can start with an easy approval credit card. Once approved, owners will receive their card within seven to 10 business days and can start building credit history right away. Although you can apply and get approved for a business credit card in a matter of minutes, it usually takes at least one billing cycle for purchases to start to appear on your business credit report.
Business Retail line of Credit
Another option is for businesses to get a line of credit with a major retailer. Companies like Staples, Lowe’s, and Sam’s Club offer business credit lines and store cards that are similar to credit cards except you can only use them for purchases at the providing retailer. Most retail credit line applications can be submitted online, and with approval, you can use it immediately. It will take six weeks or more for the payment history show up on your credit.
4 Tips to Build Business Credit Fast
Pay All State Fees
Before you can build business credit fast, make sure you don’t owe any fees to the state. Incorporated businesses are usually required to pay annual filing fees to the state they are registered in. Creditors sometimes cross-reference your business name on state websites to confirm that it’s in good standing. Companies that are behind on their fees, may get denied for financing.
Fees vary depending on the state but typically range from $50 to $400 annually. Businesses can pay their overdue state fees to the secretary of state where the business was incorporated. Payments can be made and processed in a matter of three to 10 days.
Make Timely Vendor Payments
Paying your vendors on time is a great way to build business credit. Some vendors offer discounts for paying invoices early—typically 1% to 2% off. Paying early also establishes trust and improve your business credit by ensuring you’re never late.
Much like with personal credit, payment history and available credit will impact your business credit score. Late payments are counterproductive and can damage your business credit score. Positive payment activity typically appears on your credit report 30 days or more.
Use a Legal Document Service
Companies that offer legal document services, like LegalZoom, can process your business paperwork for you. Although these companies still go through the state your business is registered to complete your LLC, they can save you time on filling out documents and filing the articles of organization yourself. Some owners may find filing and filling out legal paperwork confusing, or they may want to avoid visiting their local state offices.
Some companies like eCredable, actually take the bills you’ve already paid on and add that history to your Experian report directly from your service provider’s website for a fee. These companies can add up 24 months of payment history for internet, utilities, and phone payments. Owners can get credit for bills they’ve already been paying on and build business credit fast even faster.
Pay for Expedited Processing
There are multiple companies involved in building business credit, including credit reporting agencies. Some of these agencies have a speedy processing option. For instance, requesting a D-U-N-S number from D&B can take up to 30 days to obtain. However, owners willing to pay the $299 fee can receive their D-U-N-S number in five business days or less.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We covered some of the best ways to build business credit fast. We address the questions that are most commonly asked in this section. You can share any other questions you have in our Fit Small Business forum and one of our experts will respond.
How do I build credit for my LLC?
Building business credit for your LLC will involve three main steps, including reviewing your credit, creating a business profile with the credit bureaus, and establishing payment history with vendors. Business owners should also verify with the business credit reporting agencies that their information is correct.
How do I build up my business credit without using my personal credit?
Owners can build business credit by opening accounts using their Employer Identification Number (EIN) instead of their Social Security number (SSN). Account activity linked to an EIN number will be reported to the business credit bureaus instead of consumer ones. Owners that use their SSN will have business credit reported to their personal credit profile.
Can I get a business credit card with bad personal credit?
There are business credit cards for people with bad credit, these typically include secured business credit cards and require a minimum cash deposit for collateral. The best business credit cards require a credit score of 670 or above. Business cards for poor credit allow owners with a personal score of 580 and below to qualify.
Building business credit fast involves several steps, and timeframes vary based on the state and individual company needs. Building business credit is less about getting everything processed quickly as it in ensuring that each step is completed correctly. Owners can begin the process of building business credit in less than 30 days; however, it will take four months or longer to build a solid business credit profile.
You can start building business credit by getting a business credit card like the Chase Ink Business CashSM. This card offers top cash back rewards on everyday business expenses like supply store purchases and payments for internet and cable services. It also comes with a 12-month 0% introductory APR and no annual fee.